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March 25, 2021

Romanism and Costes Palamas



The lecture herein published is being offered in English translation as a means of allowing the descendants of the West Romans to take a preliminary glance at people in South East Europe and the Middle East who still call themselves Romans and sing songs and write poetry about themselves as Romans.

Much in this lecture is a summary of sections of a larger study which among other things examines why the Franks decided that the East Romans should not be called Romans.

This decision had a peculiar impact on a town in Cappadocia which gave two emperors to the empire. In some histories the first one is a Roman emperor because he ruled before Heraclius (610-641) and the second is supposedly a Byzantine emperor because he ruled after.

This study may be of more general interest since Romanism survives in a religious form in almost all those parts of Western Europe which were provinces of Romania before their conquest by the Goths, Vandals, Burgundians, Franks, Lombards and Normans. Even the German speaking Roman Catholics are Romans just like the Turkish and Arabic speaking Romans (Roum) of the Middle East. These three group are now speaking the languages of their conquerors.

There is strong evidence that the higher and lower nobility of European Feudalism are mostly descendants of the aforementioned conquerors, and that the serfs are mostly descendants of the conquered Romans.

This explains why the name Frank meant both noble and free in contrast to the serfs. This usage is so strong that it got into the English language by way of the Normans. Thus even the American negro was described as receiving his "Frankdom" (franchise) when set free.

The implications of such an approach are quite tantalizing when applied to the task of understanding Frankish Christianity and theology.

Feudalism, the Inquisition and scholastic theology are clearly the work of the Franks who took over the Church and her property and used the religion of the Romans to keep the conquered Romans in a servile state.

In contrast to this the Romans conquered by Arab and Turkish Moslems had their own Roman bishops.

Thus in the one case the institutional aspects of Christianity became a tool of suppression, in the other the means of national survival.

Having this in mind one may perhaps not be far from the truth in saying that the so-called French Revolution was essentially not much different from the so-called Greek Revolution. The one was a revolt of Romans against their Frankish conquerors and the other a revolt of Romans against their Turkish conquerors.

From such a point of view it would further seem that there is a much stronger unity among the Romans extending from the Atlantic to the Middle East than there can ever exist among those working for a union based on only a Charlemagnian Europe.

Perhaps the best path to European union is to first realize that the already existing Roman Republics should and can unite into a Federation of Roman Republics.

The alternative to such a resurrection of Romania will be a Europe which will become a complete protectorate of the American Empire.

But in view of the fragility of the American will to rule, the real danger to Europe is the specter of becoming a collection of provinces of the Russian Empire.

Both these alternatives can be avoided by undoing the work of the conquerors of Romania.

In other words the so-called French and Greek Revolutions must be completed by becoming a Roman Revolution.[1]



We have become accustomed each year on the 25th of March, when we celebrate the anniversary of our national rebirth, to address ourselves to events which are related to the freedom of our nation or, more specifically, to the creation of today's Hellenic State.

From a pre-fabricated chauvinism prepared by the great powers, we learned to speak of the epic-making of our forefathers of 1821, which tie them in a direct line with antiquity!

In reality we have celebrated this liberation of ours for many years without examining very well what we celebrate. There is something paradoxical here. Do we celebrate our liberation? But which liberation? That of the ancient Hellenes? That is, of our forefathers of the 4th century B.C.? And after that? What became of us during the ensuing years? Where were we? Are we a nation with an ancient and modern history only? What were we doing the years in between?

Here we find ourselves confronted with a falsification of history. When Constantinople, the empress of all cities, fell into the hands of the Ottoman Turks, it was not antiquity that was conquered, but the capital of Romanism, to wit, the capital city of the Roman Empire. And the area we live in is a piece of this empire.

We accepted a strange historical compromise. Did we accept that the City was not our capital? - the Imperial City of Romanism which resulted from the marriage of Hellenic and Roman antiquity ? Even today the Ecumenical Patriarch still bears the title Archbishop of New Rome, i.e. Constantinople. In Turkish the Ecumenical Patriarchate is called "Rum Patrikhanesi", which means Patriarchate of the Romans. This is because the Turkish sources say, and correctly, that when the Turks conquered the City they conquered the heart of Romanism.

We never learned these truths. Our school books teach histories with inaccuracies, written by foreigners like Arnold Toynbee and adopted by some "enlightened intellectuals", or rather Greeklings[2]. It seems that the great powers wanted to hide this counterfeiting of history from the Romans, and for this reason they led Regas of Velestino to his death in 1798[3]. A glance at the Manifesto and the Charter of Regas demonstrates clearly what we mean by freedom of our nation from the Ottoman Turkish yoke. When Regas wrote Roumeli, the Turkish word for "Land of the Romans", he meant the whole of the Balkans, because they belonged to the Roman Empire.

Professor John Romanides of the University of Thessaloniki recently published a book entitled Romanism, Romania, Roumeli in which he uncovers these truths which seem stranger to many because they learned a false history in school.

Born of Cappadocian parents, and a Roman to the core, Prof. Romanides was raised and educated in the USA. He became a professor there, and it was there he first encountered falsification of our Roman history. He searched for explanations and expediencies, he studied source and reached certain conclusions, and eventually revealed in this book the historical fraud which began around the 9th century AD and is still being perpetrated today.

Searching through texts he found that two great men, Argyres Ephtaliotis and our own Mesolongite Costes Palamas, had already denounced this forgery as early as 1901. In discussing this with the author I found the materiel very interesting and concluded that these truths should be brought to the attention of the public. I put the question to the Board of Directors of the Costes Palamas Society, who gladly undertook to organize a lecture in Mesolongi, in the heartland of Western Roumeli; where our distinguished speaker would bring to light the opinions for our national poet.

So with great joy I find myself in the exceptionally honored position of presenting to you the speaker who with special pleasure accepted the invitation to present his work, "Costes Palamas and Romanism," first to us here in Mesolongi, thus paying a debt of honor to the Romans of the Romans of the Great Exodus and at the same time celebrating the 150 anniversary of some of the struggles of Romanism, struggles and yearnings which as it appears have not yet been extinguished.* Basil A. Lampropoulos Reporter for the Akropolis, Athens

* The above introduction was written to be used as an introduction to this lecture during a "newspaper assignment in Constantinople New Rome (Istanbul), March 5, 1976. The printed lecture came out in Greece on March 21, 1976, the day the lecture was delivered in the ceremonial chamber of the Mesolongi City Hall, and was presented to the audience with the signature of the author and the seal of the Society of Costes Palamas. 
The Publisher


John S. Romanides

1. Unpatriotic and vulgar

The work entitled History of Romanism by Argyres Ephtaliotes appeared in 1901.

It was a time when the names Roman and Romanism moved the Romans emotionally more than today.

This was so because the names Hellene and Hellenism, introduced constitutionally in 1822, had not yet taken root in the conscience and usage of the people.

In spite of this, George Soteriades wrote a criticism against the History of Romanism of Ephtaliotes in which he claims that the use of the names Roman and Romanism, instead of Hellene and Hellenism, shows lack of patriotism and that the name Roman must be avoided because it supposedly has the disdainful meaning of "a worthless and vulgar person".

The Mesolongite[5] Roumeliote[6], and therefore proud Roman, Costes Palamas was furious. He answered Soteriades' mockery of Romanism with his pen full of revenge and irony in his work entitled Roman and Romanism.[7]

Even though small in size, this work is one of the most beautiful of this great poet of Romanism.

2. The inserted name

"One does not wonder," writes Palamas, "why Ephtaliotes wrote 'Roman` and not 'Hellene`, why he wrote 'Romanism and not 'Hellenism`. One wonders why Mr. Soteriades with all the gifts of knowledge and genius which distinguish him among many, judged that he should criticize the author for using the correct and melodious and beautiful terms...," and Palamas asks," Can it be forgot that he is the worthy translator of The History of Byzantine Literature of Krumbacher, and that he forgot how clearly this wise historian explains to us meaning of the accused Roman, in a few substantial words, in the very first pages of his work? "The name (Roman) was preserved, writes Krumbacher, during the terrible years the Turkish occupation until today, as the real and indeed prevalent name of the Greek people, in contrast with which the sporadically appearing name Greek has little meaning, and the name Hellene, introduced artificially by the government and the school, has no meaning'[8]."

3. Irony and disdain

Incited by such observations by Krumbacher as well as by the daily experience of the people and the recent history of the nation Palamas emphasizes that not only the name Roman, but also the name Hellene is used sometimes with an unfavorable meaning.

He writes as follows: "Each time the names Hellene, Hellenes, Hellenic things etc.; appear in life -to be sure planted- with all their classical halo, they are also used, according to the circumstance, most ironically and most disdainfully. However, it did not enter anyone's mind to send them to the disinfectant machine[9]."

It is clear that in 1901 there was still sharp opposition between those who supported the uprooting of Romanism, and those who were struggling, like Palamas, to preserve the of the names Roman and Romanism at least in the popular language.

Palamas also brings forth other examples of names with a double meaning, good and not so good, depending on the circumstance in which they are used: Moraetes[10], Arvanites[11], Karaďskakis[12], robber, Hebrew, and the Greek of the French which can signify such glorious figures as Pericles, Marcos Botsares[13], Kanares[14], "but also every rascal."[15]

4. Really Roman

"We also follow comparable logic," continues Palamas, "in the use of the terms Roman Romanism The only difference is that these two words were gradually set aside from the official language, as were also all the words of life and truth which are difficult to measure, because they did not come to us direct from the age of Pericles. Were are Hellenes in order to hoodwink the world, but in reality Romans. This name is anything but shameful. If it is not surrounded by a wreath. Of wild olive branches from Olympia, it is uplifted by a martyr's crown of thorns and gives off the sweet smell of thyme and gunpowder. The life and reality of the word (Roman) is unquestionably demonstrated by the fact that this name came to us readily at hand in the sincere and most luminous condition of sour soul -in the consciousness of our fall and in order to proclaim this fall- more so than the festive and cumbersome name Hellene, and even than the name Hellenas, which is somewhat more difficult to root than the name Roman, and which until yesterday preserved even its ancient idolatrous meaning, 'His mother was a Christian and his father was a Hellene,` says the Cypriote poet, and means even till now, for most of the people, the courageous, the giant."[16]

5. The imposition from outside

Palamas already revealed the reasons for these phenomena when he declared his agreement with Krumbacher that this name was introduced "artificially by the government and the school." But Palamas also reveals the imposition of this name from outside with the following: "And thus, being led to a new martyrdom, the Roman's back was loaded with the foreign sins of the constitutional Hellenes. And so he became the humiliated Roman of the loud mouths of the coffee houses, the jack in the box Roman of the satirists, the unscrupulous Roman of the pseudo empire which they call Roman."[17] Thus one understands what Palamas wants to say with the above: "We are Hellenes in order to hoodwink the world, but in reality Romans."

6. Koraes against Romanism

The man who started the war against Romanism was Adamantios Koraes[18]. He argued that our national name should be either Greek or Hellene. He writes that "One of these two, therefore, is the true name of the nation. I chose the name Greek, because all the enlightened nations of Europe also name us thus."[19]

7. The criteria

In order to understand Koraes' choice we must see the matter within its historic framework. Besides Koraes' Europe we must use as criterion firstly and surely ourselves, to wit our internal national tradition, as Palamas does, and secondarily the tradition of all the nations of Europe and of the nations of the Middle East and Africa.

The Arabs and Turks still call us Romans today at the Patriarchates of Constantinople New Rome, Alexandria, Antioch, and Jerusalem. Our Patriarchs in these places are called Patriarchs of the Romans. And before the Franks seized by force the Patriarchate of Old Rome the then Roman Pope was also one of the five Patriarchs of the Romans from the Patriarchate of Old Rome, we Romans have been calling the Pope not Roman, but Latin and Frank, and his Church not Roman but Latin and Frankish.

Following our ancient usage, as clearly reflected in Roman law and Roman sources, we never identified Romans and Latins. In antiquity the Latins are either allies or enemies of the Romans and during the middle ages we call the Franks Latins and clearly distinguish them from the Romans in both the East and the West.

Before the Norman conquest of England in 1066 the Celts and Saxons called us Romans. Until the fall of Constantinople the Scandinavians and the free Italian cities also called us Romans. The medieval Syrians and the Ethiopians always called us Romans. And before the Fall New Rome the Russians called us Romans.

8. The name Greek and the Franks[20]

The first and only ones who in the 9th century stopped calling us Romans and from them on called us only by the name Greek, which Adamantios Koraes wanted, are the Franks. After the capture of New Rome by the Franks (1206) and specially after its capture by the Turks (1453), this Frankish tradition gradually prevailed among the Normans, the Celts, the Saxons, the Scandinavians, the Italian cities, and even among the Russians.

The chief reason for which the Franks called us only Greeks was that from the 6th till the 8th century they had conquered the tremendous Roman populations of Gallic and North and Central Italic Romania. The Romans of these provinces were transformed into serfs and the Frankish conquerors became the class of those by nature born noble and thus European Feudalism was born. In order that the Roman serfs would forget that free Eastern Romania exists, they named her "Graecia"; they named the East Romans exclusively "Greeks"; they named the emperor of the Romans "emperor of the Greeks" and the East Roman Patriarchates "Greek Patriarchates".

At the same time, the Franks named the first king of the Franks "emperor of the Romans"; they expelled the Romans from the Patriarchate of Old Rome, but named the now Latin Popes "Roman Popes"; they kept the name Romania for the Papal States, and completed the capture of our Latin and Greek - speaking hierarchy of South Italic and Sicilian Romania when we definitively lost these territories in 1071 to the Latinized Normans who 5 years before, in 1066, had conquered England.

Many Romanized Celtic and Saxon refugees from England came to Constantinople New Rome and joined the choice fighting corps of Varangians who made up the Palace guard of the emperor of the Romans. Other leaders like Robin Hood stayed on in England as Roman robber brigade against Franconormans. The rest of Celts and Saxons were transformed into the serfs of the Norman conquerors. The Normans became the nobility and expelled the Orthodox from the Church leadership, having themselves become the bishops of the Frankish Christianity they brought with them.

In this way, having become the serfs of the Franks and Normans, the Romans lost their Church Ethnarchy, they became illiterate, and came to believe that their country Romania was only the papal states, that the now Frankish or Latin Pope was still their Roman Ethnarch, and that the now Frankish or Latin "emperor of the Romans" was their traditional emperor.

At the same time Franks condemned the so-called "Greeks" as heretics and thus succeeded not only in cutting off the West Romans, but also in teaching them to hate the non-existent "Greeks" who in reality were fellow Romans.

For this reason the name Greek came to mean "heretic, thief, liar, rascal, impostor and swindler."[21]

In other words Adamantios Koraes favored the name Greek with which the Franks destroyed us and with which all the enlightened nations of Europe practiced insult.

9. Forged Romanism and the Neo-Greeks[22]

Because it is impossible to believe that four Roman Patriarchates broke away from a Frankish Patriarchate, which only appeared in 1009, the Franks were forced to forge the somewhat more believable myth that four "Greek" Patriarchates broke away from a so-called "Roman" but in reality Frankish Patriarchate. European and American historians continue to teach and support this myth till today.

Having abandoned the Roman names of the nation, the Greeklings of Koraes gave accepted at least the most important part of this Frankish myth. For this reason it has become customary among the "educated" in Hellas for the Frankish or Latin Papacy to be called "Roman" and the four true Roman Patriarchates of Constantinople New Rome, Alexandria Antioch, and Jerusalem to be called "Greek" and "Hellenic", exactly as the Franks always wanted.

One asks oneself, by and from where is our national education directed? Is it possible for there to be a greater triumph of Frankdom over Romanism than this?

European and American textbooks claim that the Franks liberated the Romans of Italic Romania, together with their Roman Church, from the "Greeks" or "Byzantines, and the Neo-Neo-Greeks are unable to correctly cope with such lies because they do not identify themselves any longer as Romans with the former Romans of Italic Romania.

Exactly the same type propagandistic history is adapted by Europeans to the Middle East, where the Arab conquerors are represented as liberators of the "Roum" from the "Byzantines", whereas in fact the non-existent "Byzantines" are Romans and the "Roum"are also Romans in the Arabic and Turkish language.

Even the Vlachic[23] and Albanian-speaking Romans are represented as enemies of the "Greeks" and oppressed by "Byzantines" and "Phanariotes".[24]

But having renounced his Romanity and the ilinguality of Romanism the Neo-Greek does not know anymore how to deal with such lies.

10. Enslaved to ourselves

But strangely the Neo-Hellenes, who appeared constitutionally in 1822, take their history ready made from the Great Powers and appear as enslaved at one time first to the Romans and then even to the non-existent "Byzantines".

In other words with our enslavement to European and Russian historical scholarship, even we have reached the point of becoming enemies of ourselves.

The most popular representative of this line is perhaps Nikos Tsiphoros[ 25 ], In his book We and the Franks he writes among other strange things the following: "Gone is Byzantinum, gone also is all Hellas with her three provinces into the hands (of the Franks): oh unfortunate and tormented mainland Hellas, she changed masters."[26]

11. Agreement between Neo-Greeks and Turks

How damaging was the official discarding of Romanism is seen clearly not only on the question of Cyprus, but at this moment also on the question of the Aegean.

The Turks and other foreigners propagandized that Cyprus was a Roman or Byzantine province, but never a part of Hellas.

Similarly for months now the Turks have been propagandizing, more effectively than we think,[27] that the Aegean also was never part of Hellas. To wit, the Hellenes supposedly did not liberate, but conquered the Aegean from Turkey. In other words the Turks claim that they took the Aegean, not from the Hellenes, but from the Romans or Byzantines, to whom the Hellenes were enslaved.

One asks oneself, what difference is there between such a Turkish presentation of our history and that of the super ancient Hellenes like Tsiphoros?

On the Basis of such a line some foreigners support the idea that the beginning of the liberation of the Hellenes was the fall of Constantinople New Rome to the Turks.

12. Under the rags of Romanism

Nicholas Polites bitterly criticized Palamas in his article "Hellenes or Romans?" Polites accepts the fact that "Hellene" disappeared as an ethnic name because it was identified with paganism and that it appeared again before the fall of Constantinople. However it did not take root, says Polites, because the Ecumenical Patriarch governed as ethnarch the mass of Romans of the Balkans, Asia Minor, and the Middle East.[28]

Following the constitutions of his time Polites identifies the Hellenes not with the Romans generally, but only with the inhabitants of Hellas 1901[29]. He advances evidence which shows clearly that the Romans of Eastern Romania knew well and were proud that they are descendants not only of the ancient Romans, but also of the Hellenes, and he thinks that this proves that the Hellenes of Hellas are genuine descendant only of the ancient Hellenes.

In support of Soteriades against Palamas, Polites claims that "... the Hellenic nation, having recovered her true national name, condemned the intruded name of Roman, giving a derisive meaning,"[30] And he concludes his attack against Palamas as follows: "Let him therefore not persist in seeking that Queen Hellas remain forever hidden under the rags of Romanism[31].

Palamas did not answer and explains the reason: "If I kept silent, I kept silent (for I did not have a place in the (newspaper) 'City' which had carried my article) a thousand and two characteristic pieces, and prose and verses, within which lightens and thunders, not the Hellene, but the Roman."[32] In other words they silence him!

13. Whence the problem where the stakes

It must be emphasized that Costes Palamas truly represents the historical positions and the real interests of Romanism, whereas Soteriades and Polites, in following Koraes, represent the propaganda of Frankdom against Romanism inaugurated in the 9th century, as we briefly described.

In other words ethnic problem which was being discussed among Palamas, Soteriades and Polites in 1901, because of the "History of Romanism" by Ephtaliotes, did not arise solely as result of the formation of the new Hellenic state by means of the constitution of 1822.

Nor is it a creation of the official language as Palamas, Ephtaliotes and other supporters of the popular language seem to think. A type of the so-called purist language was the prevalent language of the Roman Patriarchates and of the Church generally, and also of the Phanariotes and many members of the intelligentsia of Romanism outside of Hellas.

It was the language of unity among many local dialects. Only in Hellas was the purist language associated with the names Hellenes and Hellenism because the Neo-Greeks thought that by using it they proved to the whole world that they were pure ancient Hellenes.

On the contrary the abolition of the national names of Romanism was planned and promoted by the Franks, it spread gradually to the other Europeans and finally to the Russians and " curiously" appeared in the Neo-Greek circle of Adamantios Koraes and "paradoxically" was included in the constitution of 1822 as well as subsequent constitutions.

14. Romans, Hellenes and the constitutions

According to the early constitutions of 1822-1832 the Hellenic nations is not a nation already in existence with a part of it in revolt and a part not in revolt. Hellenes are the native born provincials of the old Roman province of Hellas. In other words the provincial name became the national name. The right to become Hellene was given to the Romans in revolt in other places, but only on condition that they come and settle permanently in Hellas, Therefore, the Romans outside of Hellas are not considered constitutionally Hellenes because they fought, but only if and when they come and settle in Hellas[33].

It must be appropriately noted that the other Romans were not much disturbed at the fact that the Hellenes of Hellas constitutionally named only themselves Hellenes, since this was a provincial and . They were rather scandalized by the fact that followers of Koraes worked fanatically to pull the nails out of and dissolve Romanism and to separate the self-created new Church of Hellas from the Ecumenical Patriarchate, as though it were not right for Hellenes to belong to a Roman Patriarch.

15. The protocols and three Powers (England, France, and Russia)

At the national assembly which bears as its name the 3rd of September 1843 a strong group of representatives engaged in a contest to deprive those Romans who had fought between 1821 and 1829, but had not yet migrated to Hellas, of the right to become Hellenes.

The fact that the Great Powers imposed the Graeco-Frankish line of Adamantios Koraes and gave the death blow to the Roman line of Regas of Velestino[34], can be clearly seen from what was said in the minutes.

John Kolletis[35] said the following: "Protocols of the three powers gave us independence and to our brethren outside of Hellas who like us fought the sacred fight the right to immigrate to Hellas. These brethren took up arms and fought... not only in the provinces of Hellas but also in European and Asiatic Turkey, because the song of Regas was heard there also... These feats did not escape the notice of Europe and for this reason the Powers gave the right to immigrate to the provinces left outside of Hellas. Things being thus, can we place a distinction between who is a Hellene, and who is not a Hellene?... Every day the Hellenic consulates in Turkey anguish and toil to protect these Hellene co-religion-ists. But in the future how will they be able to protect them, whose political rights are being doubted, who are no longer considered Hellenes?"[36]

Alexander Mavrocordatos[37] sheds light on these words. "Let us be careful that lest by attacking an essential part of the protocols, which established the foundations of our political independence and gave the right of immigration, we attack the whole. The Ottoman leadership did not recognize with pleasure the immigrants as Hellenes: we disputed with them for so many years and virtue of protocols and great effort we succeeded, and now what will we say if we ourselves deny their nationality?"[38]

So the Three Powers and Turkey (in order to protect her interests) enforced the constitutional distinction between Hellenes and Romans, Hellenism and Romanism by means of the aforementioned protocols.

16. Palamas' protest

For this reason Palamas complains, " And thus being led to a new martyrdom the Roman's back was loaded with the foreign sins of the constitutional Hellenes."

In protesting against the distortion of the history of Romanism by the Neo-Greeks, Costes Palamas supported not only the right, but also the duty of Ephtaliotes to use the names Roman and Romanism instead of Hellene and Hellenism, since these are our true national names during the middle ages and the Turkish occupation.

Palamas emphasizes: "The god-child of the classical Roman of Rome, from the time of Justinian till the time of Regas of Velestino, remained himself, distinct, always himself, within his borrowed name, which he made his own, the Roman of the City, the Roman serf, the indomitable Roman, the Roman Hellene...And since the history of Mr. Ephtaliotes is not about the Hellene of Pericles, nor about the Hellene of Alexander the Great, the conscientious history weaver could no but speak about the Roman and Romanism, which are both of them nothing but the new names of the Hellenes and Hellenism. Historical accuracy wished it so."[39]

17. Where and when did Romanism begin

However, for Ephtaliotes Romanism does not appear with Justinian? but primarily during the time of Constantine the Great (324-337). "This Caesar," writes Ephtaliotes, "leaves his glorious Rome, and with the cross in hand and heart goes down and erects another Rome in our neglected East more powerful and more difficult to capture. And thus, if Hellenism became an organ of Christianity, nevertheless Christianity also, as well as whatever Constantine the Great did to secure his state, became cause for Hellenism to be reborn. Because at that time the old and new ingrediants were brought together which kneaded and shaped true Romanism."[40]

Following the German Krumbacher, Palamas accepts that the Roman is the same since Justianian (527-565) because at that time the name Roman changed meaning and thence instead of signifying the Latin, it signifies the Greek[41].

18. European racism and the Neo-Greeks

The Germans especially and the Europeans generally have a tribal and racistic understanding concerning nations which during the middle ages took the form of class distinctions between the Frankish and Norman conquerors who were supposed to be noble by nature of birth[42] and the conquered serfs who were supposed to be serfs by nature of birth. After the French revolution this concept concerning nations took the form of that tribal ethnicism which tends to identity each nation with one language.

Thus the Europeans imagine the ancient Romans as a Latin speaking race which became the class of noble governors and the Greeks-speaking race which became the class of serfs or conquered. When the Latins govern, the empire is Roman, but in reality it is Greek or Byzantine.

The "Neo-Greeks" introduced exactly such a racistic understanding of nationality into the realm of Romanism and thus identified each language with a separate nation, so that the Great Powers would be able to replace the Ottoman Empire, not with the Romanism of Regas of Velestino, but with small sickly statelings, slaves of these Great Powers.

19. Romanism bilingual till today

The Franks, as well as Europeans and Russians who followed were not able to understand how it was possible for Romans to become Hellenes and for Hellenes to become Romans with both being fused into one nation with Hellenic Civilization and with two language instead of one, as approximated in the case of Switzerland today.

It is known that Romanism had two official languages, Latin and Greek. Latin is called Romaika and Greek came to be known as Romaika[43]. The same with one iota means Latin and with two iota means Hellenic; thus the same name signifies the two languages of Romanism.

But Romanism is still bilingual today. This is so because the Vlachic language spoken in Greece is Neo-Latin or Neo Romaďka and the Arvanitic (Albanian) language spoken in Greece is approximately 50% Latin and 25-30% Hellenic. Some years ago it was common for Romans in the Balkans to be bilingual and many times trilingual. The Romaiďk language was prevalent. The largest group of revolutionaries of 1821 were the Arvanite (Albanian) Romans of whom many did not even know Greek.

20. The Romans were Hellenized B.C.

The bilinguality of the Romans appears on the stage of history in the first written documents of Roman history which witness that our Roman forefathers are in inseparable part of Hellenic Civilization long before Justinian the Great and long before Constantine the Great.

Already some 700 years before Constantine the Great moved Rome to the East, to wit already in the 4th century B.C., Plato's student Heracleides of Pontus calls Rome a "Hellenic city".

The first author in history to write in the Latin language was Hellene named Livius Andronikus. In the 3rd century B.C. he translated Homer in order to use him as a textbook to teach Latin and Greek to his Roman students. He also translated other works from Greek and wrote the first Roman theatrical works and poems. Thus from the very beginning the tradition was established whereby educated Romans learned Greek as the prototype of Roman letters. Thus rooted, bilinguality never ceased directing the evolution of the Hellenic Civilization of the Romans.

The first two historians of Rome, Fabius Pictor and Cincius Alimentus, were Romans who wrote their histories about 200 B.C. not in Latin but in Greek.

From about 150 B.C. all educated Romans knew the Greek language and literature well.

At about this time even the more rustic Roman elite, who as a group were at first hestitant vis-ŕ-vis Greek, were compelled to learn Greek for commerce and for the administration of the Greek-speaking provinces.

From the first century on it became customary for Roman aristocrats to complete their education by studying in Greece

In 91 B.C. he last major war broke out between. Latins and Romans. About one year prior to this, in 92 B.C., the Romans closed the Latin schools of rhetoric and thus compelled the students in Rome to study at the Greek schools alone. In time the Latin schools reopened and the use of Latin was strengthened since the Latins faithful to Rome were used in the colonization of new Western provinces.

During this period the position of translator in the Roman Senate was abolished and the use of Greek without translation was permitted to visiting speakers, since all the Roman elite knew Greek fluently.

Almost all the emperors knew but among them Julius Caesar, Augustus Caesar, Tiberius, Nero, Vespasian, Trajan, Hadrian, Marcus Aurelius, and others had an exceptional knowledge of Greek.. Julius Caesar, Tiberius and Marcus Aurelius wrote Greek works.

The most prominent Roman writers who wrote also in Greek, are among others, Cicero, Germanicus and Souetonius.

Some sources report that the last words uttered by Julius Caesar while being stabbed to death were directed to Brutus in Greek, ....; "You too, my child?"[45]

21. The ordinary people of Rome also spoke Greek

During the first and second centuries AD it became common for Romans in Rome to be mother-taught in the Greek language since it had become a household language.

St. Paul, himself a Roman, wrote his epistle to the Romans in Greek, a clear proof that the ordinary people of Rome spoke Greek.

The liturgy of the Church of Rome was performed in Greek till the 4th century, another clear proof that Greek was the language of the masses.

All the first Christian writers of the Western provinces and the bishops of Rome wrote in Greek.

The Greek language was so wide-spread that Juvenal, the satirist born a Latin outside Rome, was moved to write, "I cannot bear, Oh Citizens, the City Greek" (non possom ferre, Quiritos, Graecam Urbem).[46]

Greek was the prevalent language in the whole area of Rome until the middle of the fourth century when it weakened its hold because Rome was moved to the East and almost the whole City migrated. The void which was thus created was filled mostly by Latin-speaking Romans and for this reason, about fifty years later, Pope Damasus was compelled to introduce more Latin into the worship of Old Rome.

From all the above, but also from many other factors, it is clear that Old Rome was identified with the Hellenic world and civilization many centuries before Constantine the Great.

22. The same Roman since B.C.

Costes Palamas would have heard with great joy from modern research into the Hellenic aspects of Old Rome that he was misled by Krumbacher's medieval European understanding of Rome's relation to Hellenism. Ephtaliotes also grasped, but not fully, the magnitude of the Hellenization of Old Rome, since the Romans had become something much more than Philhellenes as he represents them. What was said in the fourth century B.C. by Heracleides of Pontus and again in the first century AD by Juvenal is correct: that Rome is a "Greek city".

In other words the Roman is the same Roman and remained the same Roman not only since the time of Justinian, not only since the time of Constantine the Great, but at least since the time of the apostles Peter and Paul in Rome and perhaps since the time when the Roman children became students of the Greek Livius Andronicus, the first teacher of the Roman nation.

23. Never Latin, never Greek, always Roman

Our national history and legislation prove that Rome as a city-state was never identified either with the Latins nor with the Latin language. It was for this reason that in 92 B.C. the Romans closed the Latin schools in order that the students study only in the Greek schools.

The Romans never had a Latin national consciousness. They were not Latins. They were and are Romans. They were not Latin-speaking, but bilingual-Latin-speaking and Greek-speaking, as the Romans are today Greek-speaking, Vlachic-speaking and Arvanitic-speaking.

Having this fact in mind we must characterize the Frankish claim, prevalent today also in Greece, that the Roman Empire was Latin and became Greek and therefore Byzantine, not only as a myth but also as a villainous fraud[47], since it was never Latin, it never became Greek, and since an already Hellenized Rome was moved to the East, and since the people of Romanism remain bilingual as they were always Besides, as we have seen, it is a delusion to think that the Roman Empire was Hellenized. The Roman Republic had already been fully Hellenized before the Roman Empire was born from it.

24. Palamas supports our real names

By defending the duty of Ephtaliotes to use our true national names, Palamas does not accept Empire of Constantinople New Rome as non-Roman and thus he fully justifies Ephtaliotes.

And indeed never and nowhere in our national sources is there to be found the non-existent "Byzantine"Empire which is in actuality a Frankish forgery.[48] Our forefathers knew only that they citizens of the country named Romania, regardless of its size and regardless of where its capital was located.

25. Romania-Roumeli

In the age of Constantine the Great, Romania included the whole Mediterranean area, which today covers England, where Constantine was crowned Caesar, Ireland, Portugal, Spain, France, Belgium, the Rhineland, Bavaria, Austria, Hungary, Switzerland, Italy, the Balkans, Turkey, the Russian shores of the Black Sea, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Palestine, Israel, and all of North Africa from Egypt to Morocco.

The Turkish rendition of our state name Romania is the name Roumeli. The historical rights of Romanism clearly appear in the use of this name by name by the Turks. Before the fall of New Rome the Turks called all the free territories of Asia Minor and Europe, which were administered from New Rome by the Emperor of the Romans, Roumeli But even till the beginning of this century the Turks used the name Roumeli for the entire European part of their Empire, in other words the Balkans During their entire history the Ottoman Turks also preserved the name Constantinople. Paradoxically, whereas the Turks kept the name Roumeli, the Neo-Greeks abolished it.

26. Alliance of Committeemen[49] and Neo-Greeks

Under the leadership of Russian Panslavism the Slavs undertook a great campaign to stop the use of the name Roman among the population of this Magna Balkan Romania-Roumeli, in order to prove that the name Roumeli, which means the land of the Romans, did not correspond to the real composition of this Magna Roumeli. Especially active in this regard were the Committeemen of the new nation of Bulgarians created from Romans by the Russians.

Paradoxically, however, the enemies of Romanism cultivated in Greece a naive and stupid ally, the Neo-Greek Spirit which began prevailing in 1822 with its slavishness to Europe and Russia.

This Spirit, animated by the then prevalent Franco-European and Russian misinterpretation, preconception and disdain for Romanism and by a devotion to a European understanding of the ancient Greeks, and creating among the Romans a fanaticism of a teutonic type racism, with the idea that they are descendants only of the ancient Greeks, preached to the Romans of the province of Greece that they should no longer call themselves Hellenes and Romans, as supported by Palamas, but only Hellenes.

27. Dissolution of the Romanism of Regas Velestinli[50]

The result of this line was the splitting up of Romanism, the assimilation of the Romans outside of Greece by artificially created political, ethnic and ecclesiastical circumstances, the destruction of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in the Balkans and the disappearance of the Romaîk (Greek) language from the Middle East, Turkey, Southern Russia and the Balkans, since the Romans of this area, Southern Russia and the Balkans, since the Romans of this area gradually got used to the propaganda that in Greece there exists Hellenism and not Romanism, Greeks and not fellow Romans, who speak Greek and not Romaďka.

The completion if the destruction of Romanism outside of Greece came about by the establishment of the Frankish name "Byzantine" for everything Roman. The remaining Romans of the Middle East and the Balkans no longer know that those who are today incorrectly called Byzantines are the same as themselves. In other words they do not know that the non-existent Byzantines are called in Greek "Romaioi", in Latin "Romani" and in Arabic and Turkish "Roum".

Thus the Constitution of 1822 laid the foundations for the distortion of the song of the Romans of Regas of Velestino and pealed the beginning of the end of the work of Alexander the Great and of Constantine the Great, which thus entered the phase of its almost complete destruction. The Neo-Greek Spirit of the Great Powers, perhaps without its bearers in Greece knowing where it would end up, succeeded bringing down upon Romanism and its official language those death blows which Frankdom and Turkdom could never even imagine possible to accomplish, and indeed in such lightning swift time, within a mere 150 years.

28. The Neo-Greeks unpatriotic

Thus it is not the "History of Romanism" of Ephtaliotes which shows lack of patriotism, but the betrayal of Romanism on the part of the Neo-Greeks.

I do not know whether one would be able to say today that the name Roman has the "derisive meaning" of "a worthless and vulgar person" and that Hellas is "under the rags of Romanism", without today's Romans beating him up.

29. Palamas foresaw Romanism victorious

The fact that the people, the intellectuals, the clergy and the artists use the national names of Romanism till today with such pride and love proves not only that the Neo-Greeks do not know the real feelings of the people, but also that the attempt to wipe out Romanism has failed.

Palamas knew well that the song of Vlahavas[51], "I was born a Roman, I want to die a Roman", with which he began the present work[52], is an invincible power not only against the Turkish attempts to convert, but also against the Neo-Greeks who also have been trying to destroy Romanism, in a more treacherous way, behind the scenes by means of the official education.

Brought up in Mesolongi and therefore having the same feelings with Father Vlahavas and with Regas of Velestino and knowing that the Roman people will always preserve these feelings, Costes Palamas foresaw the final victory of Romanism, as is clear in the words with which he ends his work and with which we end this talk.

"However, a certain more pure and deeper linguistic sentiment cannot but still find in the word Romanism something poetically and musically colored, something winged, handsomely brave for us and light, which I think Hellenism does not have, in spite of all its weighty unshakable magnificence.[53]
[ 1 ] For further details concerning this approach to European unity see my study Romanism, Romania, Roumeli, Thessaloniki (in Greek) 1975, pp. 55, 271-277. Translation of the word Graeculus used by the ancients, medieval and moder

[ 2 ] Translation of the word Graeculus used by the ancients, medieval and modern Romans (of Greece) in a pejorative sense for those who are slavish to foreigners

[ 3 ] See p. 22 footnote no. 31. The name Regas is a modern form of Rex.

[ 4 ] Lecture delivered March 21, 1976 in the City Hall of Mesolongi on the North Eastern tip of the Gulf of Corinth commemorating the 150th anniversary of the attempted escape to the nearby mountains of the population and defenders on April 10-11, 1826 after a siege of one year brought to a crisis point by a successful blockade of the city by the Turkish navy which cut off access to the sea from which the city was receiving supplies and reinforcements. It was here that Lord Byron came and died and it was here that the family of Costes Palamas, the national poet of Romiosyne (the Greek form of Romanism) was established. In the attempted escape some 3000 were slaughtered by the Turks and only about 1400 reached the safety of the mountains. Some 2000 who remained behind blew themselves up and about 1000 were taken captive by the Turks. I have purposely used the term Romanism instead of Romiosyne 1) because they mean the same and 2) because what Europeans call Romanism is not Romanism at all, as far as the East Romans are concerned but is more accurately called Francosyne or Frankdom or Frankism, being a Germanized form of Romanism developed on the basis of feudalism and a papacy transformed by its German, Frankish, Lombard, and Norman captor after the Romans (East and West) lost it in 1009. The general historical positions of this paper are expounded in detail my book Romanism, Romania, Roumeli (in Greek), Thessaloniki 1975.

[ 5 ] See note [1]

[ 6 ] A man from Roumeli, Turkish rendition of Romania, meaning land of the Romans, used by the Turks and the Romans as the name of the Balkans till 1912 and today used unofficially for the area North of Peloponessus and for Thrace in Bulgaria and Greece.

[ 7 ] Costes Palamas, "Apanta", vol VI, pp.273-281

[ 8 ] Ibid., pp. 273-274

[ 9 ] Ibid., pp. 275-276

[ 10 ] A man from Morea in the Peloponessus. The name Morea is probably of the same origin as Morocco, both stemming from the Roman Maurus.

[ 11 ] An Albanian-speaking Roman.

[ 12 ] Revolutionary hero and leader from Mavromati, Thessaly.

[ 13 ] Revolutionary hero and leader of Arvanitic stock.

[ 14 ] Revolutionary hero and naval leader from the Island of Psara.

[ 15 ] Costes Palamas, Ibid., pp. 276-277.

[ 16 ] Ibid., p. 277.

[ 17 ] Ibid., p. 277.

[ 18 ] The theoretician for transforming a section of the Greek speaking Romans of the Southern part of the Balkans and the Western part of Turkish Anatolia into descendants of Ancient Greeks. He was Dutch and Paris-trained and translated Strabo's Geography, especially for Napoleon's use in his Nile campaign.

[ 19 ] P. CHRESTOU, The Adventures of the National Names of the Hellenes, Thessaloniki 1960, pp. 50-51. J. S. ROMANIDES, Romanism, Romania, Roumeli, Thessaloniki 1975, pp. 47, 56, 208, 209, 213, 217, 284, 331.

[ 20 ] J. S. ROMANIDES, Ibid., pp. 19-57, 128 ff., 205-249.

[ 21 ] P. CHRESTOU, Ibid., pp. 40-45,. J. S. ROMANIDES, Ibid., pp. 47 ff. and passim.

[ 22 ] By Neo-Greeks we mean followers of A. Koraes. See note 15. Koraes began the campaign to convince the Greek-speaking Romans that they are pure Hellenes whose forefathers were enslaved to the Romans and "Byzantines."

[ 23 ] The Vlach are Latin-speaking Romans of the Balkans who were commonly bilingual, speaking Greek also, until the Russian and French inspired anti-"Greek" propaganda convinced the Vlach of modern day Romania that they are not one nation with the Greek-speaking Romans, now called Byzantines. The South Vlach, however, were not affected by such propaganda and are on the whole bilingual.

[ 24 ] The Phanariotes were the wealthy and educated society of Constantinople New Rome, grouped around the Ecumenical Patriarchate situated in the part of the City called Phanar, meaning lighthouse. The Ottoman Turks used these Romans in the administration of the Ottoman Empire.

[ 25 ] Humoristic writer who used historical themes and noted for his books on the Franks and Crusaders.

[ 26 ] Athens 1971, p. 15.

[ 27 ] The argument has been regularly appearing in Turkish newspapers for about two years on since Greece pulled out of NATO. It has made its way into European and American papers and was publicly supported by an American general of NATO, meaning that it has probably found its way into the Pentagon, having come from the American State Department.

[ 28 ] Athens 1901, pp. 12 ff.

[ 29 ] Ibid., pp. 4-5.

[ 30 ] Ibid., pp. 18-19

[ 31 ] Ibid., pp. 20.

[ 32 ] C. PALAMAS, Ibid., p. 280.

[ 33 ] J. S. ROMANIDES, Romanism, Romania, Roumeli, pp. 194-200.

[ 34 ] Scholar, poet, and author who inspired pre-revolutionary Roman society in the Balkans and Asia Minor to a desire to overthrow Ottoman rule and replace it with a Hellenic-type democracy in which the Roman Orthodox Christians and Turkish and other Moslems would have equal status of citizens of a commonwealth with such things as state-supported free education. He was betrayed by Austria and executed by the Turks in 1798.

[ 35 ] Political leader of the new Hellenic State who headed the party under French patronage.

[ 36 ] J. S. ROMANIDES, Romanism, Romania, Roumeli, pp. 199-200.

[ 37 ] Political leader of the new Hellenic State who headed the party under English patronage. George Kallergis headed the Russian party.

[ 38 ] J. S. ROMANIDES, Ibid., p. 200. The final protocol referred to is that of London, January 30, 1836. In this series of protocols and other official documents the term Greek is not equivalent to Hellene, but rather Romaios (Roman) in Turkish. In Greek translations the term Greek in the protocols is usually rendered by Hellene thereby making it impossible for the Hellenes today to understand the Turkish and English positions on Cyprus and the Turkish position on the Aegean.

[ 39 ] C. PALAMAS, Ibid., pp. 278-279.

[ 40 ] ARGYRES EPHTALIOTES, History of Romanism, Athens 1901, vol. 1, pp. 37-38.

[ 41 ] C. PALAMAS, Ibid., p. 274.

[ 42 ] On this position concerning the origins of European feudalism see J. S. ROMANIDES, Romanism, Romania, Roumeli, pp. 21, 46, 55, 121-126, 135-145, 311-316.

[ 43 ] In Turkish and Arabic the Greek language was called Roman and is still called so in Turkish with survivals in Arabic.

[ 44 ] J. S. ROMANIDES, Romanism, Romania, Roumeli, pp. 39-46.

[ 45 ] DIO CASSIUS, Roman History, XLIV, 19: SUETONIUS, The Lives of the Caesars, I, LXXXII.

[ 46 ] SATIRICUM II, 60 ff. See P. Christou, Ibid., p. 20.

[ 47 ] J. S. ROMANIDES, Ibid., passim. especially, pp. 205-249.

[ 48 ] Ibid.

[ 49 ] Called Komitatzides and organized by the Russians in the middle of the 19th century in order to transform the Romans who had any kind of knowledge of any kind of Slavic into Slavs, in order that Russia may carve out pieces of the Balkans for her Panslavism.

[ 50 ] See note 31.

[ 51 ] A Roman Orthodox priest whom the Turks captured and tried to forcefully convert to Islam. Conversion meant that one ceased being Roman, having become a Turk.

[ 52 ] C. PALAMAS, Ibid., p. 273.

[ 53 ] Ibid., p. 279. 

Dedicated To My Daughters Eulambia and Anastasia.
Romania Press
10 Kaningos Street
Athens, Greece
Copyright by John S. Romanides, 1976, 1978
First published in English 1978
First published in Greek 1976
Made and printed in Greece by
George Papageorgiou Printing Co., Thessaloniki